69 People Share Their IRL Romance Stories, And They’re Just As Good As The Best Romance Novels And Movies


Romance can be subtle and unexpected—it sometimes hides from us, pouncing when the stars align and when we’re least ready for it. Even though life can’t resemble the plot of a rom-com movie all the time, there are certain moments when it matches and even outstrips what romance novels have to offer. Considering that the romance fiction industry is worth over a billion dollars, that’s quite something!


The suggestively named California-based bookstore ‘The Ripped Bodice’ asked its followers on Twitter to share the times that their lives most resembled romance novels. And, wow, did they deliver! The stories are fantastic and odds are that they might make you believe in love at first sight, true love, and soulmates all over again. As a huge literature lover, I’m happy to see the world of books overlap with real life so much.


As you’re reading the incredibly romantic IRL moments, remember to upvote the ones that made your heart beat faster. Do you have your own memorable romantic moments that you’d like to share with all the other Pandas here? You can do so in the comments.


More info: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | TheRippedBodiceLA.com


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‘The Ripped Bodice’ prides itself on being the “only exclusively romance brick-and-mortar bookstore on the West Coast” in the United States. Sisters Bea and Leah Koch opened up the bookstore right on the border between Culver City and Los Angeles. The sisters describe the bookstore as being “proudly Woman and Queer Owned.”


“The Ripped Bodice features a vast and diverse selection of romance fiction. In addition to books, the store has a wide selection of gift items with a focus on supporting independent, woman-owned businesses,” they write on the bookstore’s website.


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"How many comic-book stores are there across the country? Even in small towns, they’ll have a comic-book store. But romance outsells comics by a landslide. Pure dollars and cents. So we thought if comic books can survive in midsize towns, we can survive in [Los Angeles], one of the biggest cities in America," Leah, the co-founder of the store, told ‘Glamour’ in an interview.


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The Koch sisters found out that the only romance-focused bookstore in the world was based in Australia, so they knew that this was a niche that would be perfect for them, a way to bring their teenage dreams and goals to life. That’s when they launched a Kickstarter campaign that netted them over 90k dollars.


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The bookstore doesn’t just focus on selling books. Its owners are very active in a variety of projects and events. “The store and its owners undertake several large projects each year including The Ripped Bodice State of Racial Diversity in Romance Report, the Read, Romance, Repeat subscription box, and the development of television projects based on romance novels in association with Sony Pictures Television.”


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The Koch sisters grew up in Chicago, Illinois, surrounded by books. They’re “lifelong romance readers” and they realized their dream to open up a bookstore 5 years ago. Bea published her first book, ‘Mad & Bad: Real Heroines of the Regency’ in 2020.


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If any of you Pandas are in California and you’re thinking of swinging by the bookstore, there are some basic rules that you should be aware of. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to rage, so naturally, there are restrictions we all have to follow when going to a bookstore (or any store for that matter) in person.


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First of all, the obvious: “No Mask, No Entry.” It might sound obvious, but it’s worth repeating it. ‘The Ripped Bodice’ is super friendly in this regard, however. If you find yourself without a mask, but with a massive yearning to purchase a teetering tower of books, then you can knock on the door and a staff member will bring you a mask that you can keep.


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The bookstore owners also ask their customers to “browse with intention” and to avoid touching books in the store if they don’t have to. Daily reminder: we’re in the middle of a global pandemic; don’t touch what you don’t need to. Remember to not touch your face so much, either (no matter how much it itches).


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Only 7 customers are allowed in at a time and if you’ve got any children, they shouldn’t leave your side. ‘The Ripped Bodice’ also used to have a tea service (what a fantastic idea!), though it had to suspend it. However, you can still buy some tea leaves at the store and make tea at home.


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